A year on from Malaysia misery, all is well with Hamilton

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel set the pace in second practice at the Malaysian Grand Prix as title rival Lewis Hamilton struggled in his Mercedes.

The Red Bull pair of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo was third and fourth quickest respectively, Sport24 reported.

Hamilton retired with 16 laps to go after his engine blew up while leading the race.

Vettel clocked a new lap record to go quickest in second practice with his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen second.

An inspection of the vehicle back in the Ferrari garage appeared to indicate only a minor issue but efforts were ultimately abandoned, leaving the German driver to start his race tomorrow from the back of the grid.

Alonso added that he is putting all his energy to finish every race in "the best possible position", with six races left.

"We are going to feel it on Sunday afternoon, but that's I guess what we prepare for.it's a painful one, but it's a good pain and you deal with it and I feel I definitely thrive in the hotter conditions".

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"I really want to improve and redeem myself because past year we did not achieve a great result from my side here", he told reporters in a press conference at the Galeri Petronas, here, Tuesday.

Ferrari will at least be able to add new engine components to Vettel's auto ahead of Sunday's race, with grid penalties no longer an issue given he is already at the back of the field.

"It was a bad day but the race is tomorrow", Vettel told Sky Sports. "But there wasn't really enough time so we had to stay with it and it's also a risk changing the auto again".

This will be the final Malaysian Grand Prix, after a 19-year span in which it proved hugely popular with the drivers because Sepang is such a stellar, challenging circuit, but less so with the spectators for whom ticket prices have historically been too high.

"It's not ideal, not what you want when you think you've got it in you". The vehicle felt great so it is a real surprise to be up here with these guys but I am really grateful. I hope our auto has moved in the right direction for the race run but we will see tomorrow. They fixed it quickly and it's a shame I couldn't get out.

"I am still not sure what actually happened, in a few hours hopefully we know more". "You are never going to make the ideal lap but it's a bit more painful when you get so close". Verstappen improved on a second lap on used super-softs after a set-up tweak midway through the session unlocked additional pace from his Red Bull.

Nico Hulkenberg will start eighth with Segio Perez ninth for Force India and the second McLaren of Fernando Alonso rounding out the top 10.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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